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18 March 2015 Towards the development of a spring-based continuum robot for neurosurgery
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Brain tumor is usually life threatening due to the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells native to the brain or the spread of tumor cells from outside the central nervous system to the brain. The risks involved in carrying out surgery within such a complex organ can cause severe anxiety in cancer patients. However, neurosurgery, which remains one of the more effective ways of treating brain tumors focused in a confined volume, can have a tremendously increased success rate if the appropriate imaging modality is used for complete tumor removal. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides excellent soft-tissue contrast and is the imaging modality of choice for brain tumor imaging. MRI combined with continuum soft robotics has immense potential to be the revolutionary treatment technique in the field of brain cancer. It eliminates the concern of hand tremor and guarantees a more precise procedure. One of the prototypes of Minimally Invasive Neurosurgical Intracranial Robot (MINIR-II), which can be classified as a continuum soft robot, consists of a snake-like body made of three segments of rapid prototyped plastic springs. It provides improved dexterity with higher degrees of freedom and independent joint control. It is MRI-compatible, allowing surgeons to track and determine the real-time location of the robot relative to the brain tumor target. The robot was manufactured in a single piece using rapid prototyping technology at a low cost, allowing it to disposable after each use. MINIR-II has two DOFs at each segment with both joints controlled by two pairs of MRI-compatible SMA spring actuators. Preliminary motion tests have been carried out using vision-tracking method and the robot was able to move to different positions based on user commands.
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Yeongjin Kim, Shing Shin Cheng, and Jaydev P. Desai "Towards the development of a spring-based continuum robot for neurosurgery", Proc. SPIE 9415, Medical Imaging 2015: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, 94151Q (18 March 2015);

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